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Debate Night in America

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CNN

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01:00:00

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America 9, Us 7, Romney 6, United States 5, John Kerry 4, Colorado 3, David Axelrod 3, New Listerine Ultraclean 2, Erin 2, China 2, Denver 2, Marco Rubio 2, Obama 2, Jim Acosta 2, Paul Ryan 2, Jim 2, Erin Burnett 2, Carroll Ward 1, Obama Obama 1, Entirety 1,
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  CNN    Debate Night in America    Series/Special.  

    October 4, 2012
    2:00 - 3:00am EDT  

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thank you, jim. >> thank you, governor, thank you, mr. president. the nex debate will be the vice presidential event on thursday october 11th at center college in danville, kentucky. for now, from the university of denver, i'm jim lehrer, thank you and good night. i'm wolf blitzer. there's enormous pressure on president obama and governor romney right now.
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we're asking debate watchers, those who watched the debate to the history books. tonight, just like we will after every upcoming debate, we're breaking it down, issue by issue. this means more talk from the candidate on a particular topic. looking at some of the totals, we'll show you what's going on. but, first, here are some of the highlights from the first presidential debate. >> what things would i cut from spending? first of all, i will eliminate all programs by this test. if they don't pass it. is the program so critical, it's worth boring money from china to pay for it? obama care is on my list.
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i apologize mr. president. jim, i'm sorry, i had stop the subsidy to pbs. i love big bird, like you too. but i won't keep on spending money to borrow money from china to pay for. i'll take programs that are currently good programs but could be run more efficiently at the state level and send them to state. and make government more efficient, cut back the number of employees, combine agencies and departments, cutbacks done through attrition by the way. this is the approach we have to take to get america to the balancedbudget. >> i put forth a budget plan, it's on a website, you can look at the numbers. the way we do it $2.50 for every cut, we ask for $1 of additional revenue, paid for as i indicated
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earlier by asking those of us who have done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit. governor romney earlier mentioned how the bowles-simpson commission. that's a bipartisan commission that talked about how we should move forward suggested we have to do it. in a balanced way with some revenue and some spending cuts. and this is a major difference that governor romney and i have. >> let me finish this point. you're looking for contrasts. when governor romney stood on a stage with other republican candidates for the nomination, and he was asked, would you take $10 of spending cuts for just $1 of revenue, and he said no. >> substantive debate on the major issues facing the country right now.
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right now, domestic issues, economic issues, health care, taxes, the nation's debt. got into the weeds in some areas, but this was a very, very important debate. anderson cooper watching this with all of our analysts as well. >> fascinating to see both men on the stage for the first time. you saw a difference in terms of temperament in debating style. i want to bring in gloria boerger and david gergen. even president obama's final statement didn't think like he had a final statement, other than i'll keep working hard which mitt romney seemed more prepared. >> it was sort of flat to me. >> you noticed a big difference in terms of male and female viewers. >> i noticed a lot of things. if mitt romney were going to use president obama's words, likeable enough at this debate. i think he was. and the things i noticed on the dial tests as i was watching, when president obama spoke about health care, women were up, men were down.
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when mitt romney spoke about health care, you saw men up. one thing about mitt romney, that he did very well, he seemed to tie everything back to creating jobs, and that's what he needs to do well on to win this election, everything, health care, everything else was about job creation. >> i think we had a big upset tonight. 2-1, the american people thought the president would win, he lost. mitt romney came prepared to play, drove to debate. i don't think the president has been talked to like this over the past four years, and i think he was so surprised that romney was just sort of plat out lying, never proposed a 20% tax cut. we've been hearing that a lot. and i think that threw him off his game. it propels all of his campaign into the next debate. mitt romney could have gone down and this race would have been over. now we have a horse race on our
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hands. >> do you think democrats will hire rob portman for debate preparation? >> the ads in the campaign, so negative, and so nasty. i expected president obama to start bucking about bain capital, 47%. >> never debate on your anniversary, an important lesson. it just doesn't seem to work. the big change, president obama running ads in the swing states about this terrible person mitt romney who wants to eat babies and throw granny in the snow. just terrible. that guy didn't show up. america met a guy with very calm, presidential temperament. as a matter of fact, snis interchange with president obama on a lot of things. >> including his anniversary. >> very comfortable in your living room as president. >> it will be interesting to see, because we all believe that governor romney had a good night.
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interesting to see what the poll numbers do. >> i expect them to, if not, we have a real problem. second thing, we should not forget this, he literally threw his whole tax plan your honor the bus. the -- as a followup. there is another debate, everything tomorrow, there is more shows, more everything, and i think the democrats are really, really going to jump on this. i never proposed any such thing. >> you're expecting team obama to go hard tomorrow. >> i think team obama knows what happened tonight. i don't think -- but i also think that this is the way this campaign works out. what happened tonight will play out clearly through the weekend to the next debate. so we should be a little -- little temperament in terms -- >> what do you think -- >> let us enjoy a good night. >> one of the things i thought was really interesting about the
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debate, including, of course, the fact that romney won it and everybody knows it, including obama's campaign energies, romney seemed like he understood the issues better than obama did. it was striking to me when romney said, for example, well, yes, president obama, i agree with training, but there are 47 different programs and 8 agencies and that cost as a lot of money and we need to consolidate, and by the way, your support of green energy is costing $90 billion. he did a masterful job of showing he knows the issues. >> let's see what viewers thought, next. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time, and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district.
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the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. more than 50 times a day? so brighten your smile a healthy way with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only rinse that makes your teeth two shades whiter and two times stronger. ♪ listerine® whitening... power to your mouth. listerine® whitening... why they have a raise your rate cd. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no.
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if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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our expert team of producers, research and reporters, they have been very busy, trying to figure out when the candidates were telling the truth in tonight's debate. john berman with another reality check. >> medicare a bit topic for some time. mitt romney made the claim that president obama is going to make cuts that affect people on the program today. >> what i support is no change for current retirees and near retirees to medicare and the president supports taking $716 billion out of that program. >> he also used other language in his program, saying obama wants to cut $716 billion. this one checked and checked again. medicare will still grow, it will just grow more slowly, a reduction of growth by $716
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billion, and a lot of the money coming out of medicare advantage, not money for beneficiaries, the verdict here is with the language mitt romney uses the verdict is false. i want to talk about health care in general. president obama says good news about health care cost premiums. >> over the last two years, health care premiums have gone up, it's true, but they've gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years. so we're already beginning see -- >> let's look at the facts. medicare premiums did increase 4% from last year so there is growth here. the head of the kaiser family foundation, an authority on the matter, says growth is at historic lows. not sure if it's lower than 50 years, which is what president obama said, but growth still slow, the verdict, this appears to be true, but we'll follow up with the kaiser family foundation on the 50-year claim. >> what else surprised you tonight?
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>> i think the president just didn't seem like he wanted to debate romney. again, never mentioned 47%, meaning mitt romney's critical, awful, remarks about obama supporters, never mentioned bain capital. he never said that i'm the guy that can create jobs and said that massachusetts was 47th of 50 states. >> you think he wanted to look presidential? wanted to let the campaign do it? >> if he did, said i'm ahead, i want to stay above the fray, that's a strategic mistake. >> van. >> when they say he wants to have a conversation with the american people, i think he thought he was going to go and have a conversation with the american people. i think i took romney too lightly, he didn't expect romney to be able to throw that kichb heat. and he was able to out obama
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obama on the connection piece, authenticity piece, on the ability to tell the story. and i think they had the wrong strategy. the idea you will get here, be able to have a conversation and be treated like a town hall format with nobody else there, sets you up for failure. >> i don't think anybody would have advised barack obama to go in and play defense. sometimes when you get into office, you're president of the united states, you are there to defend. let romney play offense all night. >> they have run a very good campaign thus far. i don't think president obama did what this campaign wanted him to do. let's not go overboard here. it will be like a big sort of push back. okay, fine. i understand. i'm saying, that in the same
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campaign, same guy that did this well leading up to it. my point is this. president obama came in to have a conversation. mitt romney came in with a chainsaw. trying to talk to a chainsaw. >> with all due respect -- no due respect. just say you what you have to say. >> fine. here is what i believe. president obama out on the campaign trail. run a good campaign, but speaking to the faithful and no one has challenged him. romney comes up and challenges him on every fact, every specific and most especially romney challenges him with facts and specifics on president obama's own record. did it very effectively. >> romney -- romney -- >> let's leave it there without due respect. this could be a big debate about romney's facts. >> can i say something -- >> obama had none. none. >> we watched mitt romney during
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the primaries, his worst moments, and there were many, were when he was challenged whether it was by rick perry or whoever. he wasn't challenged tonight. the obama people may have been waiting for sort of a moment when mitt romney would be caught offguard, but their guy didn't -- didn't dig at him and that might have prompted an error on romney's part. he's not good when things get awkward. >> my experience with presidents is during the first term, they are surrounded by people who are pretty sicophatic, are you the greatest president ever or just merely one of the greatest. it is so expected to have somebody come and challenge you sharply. but i have seen presidents who sort of reverse themselves.
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>> you think we saw the results of being in a presidential bubble? >> not the first incumbent to have a bad first debate? >> and a very strong second debate. >> we'll watch that. wolf. >> rob portman, senator from ohio played the president in the preparation for mitt romney. getting a lot of credit tonight. john kerry played mitt romney for the president. not hearing so much with john kerry. we'll check in with that. both candidates threw around big numbers, our own tom foreman joins us with a reality check? >> this is the dominant feature of the entire election, jobs, jobs, jobs, and the first issue these candidates lit into tonight. listen. >> over the last 30 months, we've seen 5 million jobs in the private sector created. the auto industry has come roaring back. and housing has begun to rise.
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>> they are suffering in this country. and we talk about evidence, lock at the evidence of the last four years, he is absolutely extraordinary. 23 million people out of work. >> you heard the fundamental claim there. the president said he claimed 5 million jobs, mitt romney says not so much. in 2009, this is what the country looked like, everywhere you see a brown state, they were losing jobs in the first full year of barack obama's presidency. unemployment, 10.6%, but three years passed, we saw increases in retail, health care, education, and look at the map today. every state that becomes lighter in this picture is a state where there was an improvement in the unemployment rate over that period of time. i will tell you there, ray great
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many of them out here. the unemployment rate for ohio, changed 7.2%. lock at the massive change in the country in terms of the improvement in terms of states that are no longer losing jobs, but now making jobs. to make that happen, the bureau of labor statistics says you had to have a lot of job creation. 4.4 million jobs created. what you don't hear so much about, we lost 4.3 million jobs in the dark days. the net gain according to the net record, is only 125,000 jobs. based on that even though the president did create a lot of jobs, when you look at that, look at the extent of his claim, 5 million jobs created, we have to say that's simply false. i know many democrats will say that's because the bush years and the economy that's left. the numbers simply don't add up the way the president would like them to. wolf. >> mitt romney made a strong claim, 23 million people out of
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work. does that number hold up to scrutiny? >> that number bears scrutiny, wolf. we have about $51,000 is the median income in this country. let's bring uply tos to talk about how he would come up with such a number. this is roughly what everybody in the country is making. low wages, mid wages, high wages. look what happens when the recession began. everybody lost jobs, but the low-wage jobs lost less, and when everybody started coming back, look what happened. the low-wage jobs came back more, where mid wage and high wage didn't do so well. so we lost better paying jobs than we got back. part of what mitt romney is counting. unemployment, people have given up on looking, people with part-time jobs who would like to be full time. and counting people underemployed. like barack obama he is taking generally okay numbers and stretching them to the breaking
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point and that makes his claim also false, wolf. >> bottom line, what is the bottom line when it comes to jobs, the whole issue of the facts of the jobs issue. who benefits the most? >> well, once he pushes out the up and down, everything else, absolute unemployment rate, and it's a fact for a president to get re-elected with a high unemployment rate. all of the presidents re-elected since the 1950s and relative unemployment rates. dwight eisenhower, 4.1%, richard nixon, 5.6%. ron aeld reagan, 7.5%. and bill clinton, 5.1%. second george bush, 5.4%. and then look at barack obama down here. 8.1%. a whopping number for any president to carry into a
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re-election campaign. barack obama made history when he got elected the first time. if he gets re-elected, that will also be historic, because no president has done it since franklin roosevelt in the fading days of the great depression. >> a new jobs report coming out friday morning for the month of september. we'll see what those numbers are, what impact it winds up having. anderson, back to you. >> thank you, wolf. and the hologram, tom foreman. david, to your point, presidents in the past who had a bad first debate performance came back strong, how do they retool? do they practice more? >> the most famous case, president reagan in 1984, lost the first debate, people thought he was senile, that he didn't care, he came back. nobody is more competitive than president obama. he will be back in the room, saying, guys, we're not doing this again.
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>> the question, what happens. and the next is a town hall. different format. >> ready to release results. a poll, register voters who watched the debate tonight, we asked them who won the debate. look at this. 67% say it was mitt romney. 25% say it was president obama. a very, very decisive verdict from this poll that we just took, a scientific poll, registered voters who actually watched the debate. 67% say it was excellent night for mitt romney, he won the debate, 25% for the president of the united states. barack obama. very consistent with all of the various reactions from the left and right so far, a very good night for mitt romney, not very good for the president of the united states. >> those poll numbers are telling. >> in polarized america, for any candidate to get above 50% are huge.
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45%, 43%, solid republican. >> are those undecided voters? >> registered voters who watched the debate. a lot of president's supporters say he got spanked tonight. >> it tightens -- what this means, it's likely as we saw in 2004, when john kerry won the first debate, that the polls will tighten a bit, and -- but it also means to me that the obama campaign can't press the delete button fast enough on this debate and they will go out there and they will erase it. and they will go on the attack and they are very good at doing that, and the president can be good at doing that. it may get him back on his game. >> may not change the numbers very quickly. but it does prompt a lot of people to do, i need to take a second look.
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>> and you raised the point about money he was leaving, or trickling, lessening to mitt romney. this changes that. >> a lot of buzz that high-dollar contributors, financial supporters, this is not looking so good. let's keep an eye on the first debate and see if we should stay in the game. mitt romney got a big boost tonight. tomorrow night, we'll see a lot of people step up and fund the campaign. >> we just heard from the american people in our poll, registered voters, haven't heard from undecided voters. we'll hear from the focus group, when we come back. [ male announcer ] your mouth is cleanest after the dentist. but between check-ups tartar builds. keep it clean with new listerine® ultraclean™. it's the only mouthwash with a new tartar control formula for a dentist clean feeling. ahhhhhhhh. [ male announcer ] new listerine® ultraclean™.
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we're getting ready to hear from the undecided voters of the focus group in colorado who were
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listening, watching what was going on. erin burnett out there. we'll hear what they had to say. did this debate change their minds? are they ready to tell us who they will support for president of the united states? will be significant. we'll stand by to hear from the focus group. first presidential debate as you know is in the history books, breaking it down for you minute by minute. issue by issue. bigger tiles mean more talk time from a candidate. president obama, speaking 42:50 tonight, more than 4:00 longer than governor romney, there on the right in red. top throw issues as determined by the clock. and our political experts, using best judgment to categorize what the candidates say. number one for obama the economy, 10:49. number one for rom snow, also the economy, 9:08.
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the president had health care as his second issue, namely, obama care. the challenger, it was the budget and taxes. president obama spent the third most time talking about budget and taxes, about a minute less than governor romney. romney's number three issue was health care. big differences when you drill down. take a look at energy, president obama spent 19 secti9 seconds on energy. governor romney, 1:43 seconds. when asked a question about education, he pivoted to energy. 2:17. president obama devoted 4:15, almost twice as much. watching this very closely. anderson, back to you. >> john king locklooking closer at the flash poll numbers. you have numbers on the economy. >> they asked the question, who would better handle the economy? let me scroll down. clear in the poll, the overall verdict to governor romney who
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won the debate. who better to handle the economy, obama 43, romney 55. the defining question of the election. >> compared to where it was before? >> we have to be careful this is registered voters who watched the debate. in our most recent national poll, they were tied on that question. >> vaughan jones, you said something about changing -- you saw a different romney tonight. >> up until now, to me, you look at romney, think thursdayston howell iii, right? not presidential. seems to be sort of all over the place. tonight, he's presidential and tonight for people who were losing steam on his side, think think they got a big shot in the arm. the other side of it, the fact checkers are going nuts.
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social media people are coming back and saiding hold on, this is not true, that is not true, $90 billion. it wasn't $90 billion in tax breaks. $90 billion for parks, land restoration. i think tonight his side is enthusiastic, they should be, he did well, but i think they will have a paul ryan affect tomorrow. more of what he says gets taken apart. >> obama had no facts, there are no facts to check on his side. >> you just made a case by winning you actually lost. i think most of the times when you win you win. i think over the next few days rich sorry to interrupt. a big flash poll update. wolf what are we getting? >> the results now from our scientific poll of debate watchers across the country. we asked among other things, who did the debate make you more likely to vote for?
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35% said mitt romney. 18% said president obama. 47% said neither. we asked who said seemed to be the stronger leader. 58% said romney. 37% said obama. and debate watchers also asked who is more likeable? likeable? 46% said romney. 45% said president obama. let's candy crowley in denver. you have a special guest. a top adviser, david axelrod. but it looks like our poll, 67% said romney won the debate. only 25% said the president won the debate. and look so many more people thought that they were going to vote for romney as a result of this debate as opposed to the president. these are good numbers for
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romney. not such good numbers for the president. >> right, wolf. david axle rod, senior adviser to the campaign. what happened? >> i don't think you can measure these debates on instant polls. >> let's measure it by democratic standards. >> let's finish. we don't want to have a debate her let me just finish. governor romney laid down a series of positions and you and others will be following this tomorrow. so will the american people. he does have a $5 trillion tax plan, no plausible way to pay for it $2 trillion in pentagon spending, no plausible way to pay for it. he took the position that he made with the republicans saying he wouldn't accept $1 of new revenue to help solve our deficit program, even on the very wealthy. turned medicare to a voucher program.
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>> you know, this is -- there could be something else tomorrow, heaven only knows, tonight it's a debate. democrats said what happened to president obama? why didn't he show up? seemed listless, didn't want to be there. and mitt romney seemed like he showed up to play, and the president bought his "c" game. what is going on here? >> i wasn't surprised governor romney gave an energetic performances, he has been practicing since june and he's a very good debater, particularly on the attack. we can have a discussion on the theater of the moment. >> does it matter? >> if you lay down a series of positions troubling to the american people, no matter the package they are wrapped in, it only exasserbates the problem you have. so anybody undoubted mitt romney
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has a voucher program now knows. anyone that notes he will not budge on his plan not to ask the wealthy to contribute one more dollar, they know. >> the president had the chance to make that case, and you get on the flash poll, you're right. we'll see what happens going forward. bumps from the convention, we'll see what happens. but you look at that flash poll, people who watch this thing, when you -- all the way down the line, advantage romney. who would you rather have hanel the economy. an economy, romney by a huge margin. medicare, all the way down, so it just seemed like the president didn't respond in a way, that folks -- everybody went into the debate suspecting he would win. >> i was very candid. the challenger always -- always, always, always gets the bunch with the sitting president. they are on the stage with the president, toe to toe, much has been written about that. we knew that.
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and we knew governor romney has been practicing, reherselfing lines since june for this. >> and you know you also get another one. will i see you october 16th? >> i'll be there. >> me too. >> wolf being back to you. >> candy will be moderating the next presidential debate. jim acosta with a special guest, marco rubio who supports mitt romney. must be pretty happy. >> that's right, wolf. we had senator rubio listen to david axelrod's comments. we heard him say let's not get caught up in the theater of the moment. i'm guessing from your vantage point, it was a good play tonight. >> the only one more frustrated than barack obama is david axelrod. i think it's clear, barack obama pretty uncomfortable talking about taxes, the budget, jobs, the most important things in america. that's what he's uncomfortable about. he doesn't understand the american free enterprise system,
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how it works, number two, probably doesn't believe it in the way mitt romney believes in it. and has a terrible record. look at the jobs, unemployment rate, the suffering of the american middle class, buied as joe biden reminded us. the policies of barack obama. he turned to the moderator and asked him to change the subject. let's move on to something else. we're not going to move on to something else. this is the issue of the moment. >> at one point during the debate, governor romney acknowledged his plan is basically a voucher program for medicare, and i'm curious how that will go over in florida. >> he acknowledges for current beneficiaries, people on it now or about to retire will have the exact same medicare they've always had. he said for future generations like paul ryan, like me, when we retire, we'll get subsidy support from the government. it will match the level of medicare.
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if we want to stay on regular mode care, we can do that, or we have a choice. go out and buy private medicare. if you are very rich, my generation, you have to pay a little more. it's a machine to save medicare. where is the president's plan to save medicare? >> the president would say his plan would not to go with the romney/ryan/rubio approach. >> that's fine. what is his approach? where is his plan to save medicare? it's going to go bankrupt, not just for my generation, but for my mom. what he is doing about it, other than taking $700 billion out of it. >> all right. we just lost that connection. but we'll try to reconnect with jim acosta and senator marco rubio and also about to see the highs and lows. ratings for the candidates from our focus group of undecided voters, we'll hear from them as
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well. also, you can see the debate again in its entirety, in just a little bit. stay with us. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
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we have more results that have come up in from our poll of registered voters cross the country who watched tonight's debate. we asked who would better handle the economy. look at this. 55% said governor romney. 43% said president obama. we also asked who would better handle health care. 52% said romney. 47% said president obama. we asked who would better handle taxes? 53% said romney. 44% said president obama. we asked, who would better hanel
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the nation's deficit, 57% said romney. 41% said president obama. we asked, who agrees with your views about government? that was the question we asked. 54% said governor romney. 44% said president obama. anderson, looks like a clean sweep on all those respective questions for governor romney over president obama. >> wolf, are you clear who these voters are? republicans democrats? >> registered voters, republicans, democrats, undecided. people called, scientific survey. we wanted to make sure they watched the debate. not all registered voters, not all likely voters, these are registered voters who watched the debate. >> you are getting the sample you get. you call after the debate. our sample of debate watchers, a
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sample of people watching the debate. registered voters. a few point more republicans than a typical sample of all americans. a few points, not a large lead. a few points more republican, so some people say, a-ha, 67/25. romney still trounces on about every characteristic. it shows debate watchers give romney a convincing victory. we need to be fair and say slightly more republican sample than the poll we will take next week. >> the interesting thing we were talking about during the break with james is that while on the issues that wolf just mentioned, mitt romney did better in this debate when we asked debate watchers their opinion of president obama before the debate, after the debate, favorable, unfavorable,
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unchanged essentially, and the same for mitt romney, unchanged. mitt romney, 55% favorable. high for him. so while they may have believed mitt romney won the debate, the question is whether it chaz changed their attitude toward mitt mitt romney. >> first of all, that sample i think we'll find out that sample was more than just a few points more republican. i have never seen a poll like that. the second thing is, you got to say the idea is that you moved the needle to favorability. -- 65% said he won it. and if you look at the issue of distinctions in a sample that seemed to me to be a few points more republican, i'm now -- and people say, yes, he won the debate. everybody here says he won the debate.
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i'm not sure if the payoff will be that huge. >> we don't know the payoff yet. one way or the other. the sample sounds like it's skews. but it's worth noting that cbs took a poll tonight of undecideds, and had 2-1 romney winning. we have two polls out there. we'll see what happens. john kerry, some people thought he won all three debates and not the election. >> undecideds? how can cbs do a poll of undecideds? >> we have to go to our focus group. we're almost out of time, wolf. >> let's take a closer look at the focus group of undecided colorado voters and how they reacted. we measured their reaction. the green line represents the men.
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the yellow line represents women in the focus group. president obama's best moment of the night. it happened near the top of the moment of the debate. talking about investments in america. listen to the president make a case in his opening statement. >> i think we've got to invest in education and training, new sources of energy in america. change the tax code to help small businesses and companies investing in the united states. that we take some of the money we're saving as we wind down two wars to rebuild america, and we reduce our deficit in a balanced way that allows us to make critical investments. >> let's take a look at one of mitt romney's best moments in the debate. peeked with both men and women at 10:16 p.m. asked about the role of government. listen to romney's high point.
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>> i believe we must maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country. that statement also says we are endowed by our creator with the right to pursue happiness as we choose. i interpret that as one making sure those who are less fortunate and can't care for themselves are cared for by one another. >> let's bring in erin burnett. tell us what's going on over there? >> all right. this has been a pretty interesting night. everybody listening, and i was looking over. little dials going left and right. left and right. undecided group of voters, wolf. they didn't like it when either candidate got negative or stomped on the moderator, but they did react in particular to those two moments. overall takeaway of the moments that scored high. romney had more of them in the audience of 39 undecided voters
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than barack obama let's talk about mitt romney's strength. first of all, how many of you rated hum a stronger leader. and that was one of the areas where mitt romney really stood out. let's ask karen ren sick a question. an unemployed voter, trying to make up your mind. when we heard that high moment from mitt romney, it stood out to you, why did it? >> i was surprised president obama did not stand out more and stronger in this. when mitt romney said the things he said, especially leaning back and showing the constitution and the bill of rights and it just really struck in me, yeah, this man could really help me in the job market and our economy. he stood out as a stronger candidate to me. >> did he stand out as someone that connects with you personally in a way he hasn't so far? >> yes, from his ads, i thought he was much more aloof than he appeared tonight. >> let's get to some of the
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lows, wolf. there were a couple of moments that our focus group reacted negatively to. >> the low points in the debate for president obama and governor romney, let's begin with the president first. 9:18 p.m. eastern, when he was talking about taxes but seemed to tau a dig at governor romney. men and women both rejected the president's argument. watch. >> for 18 months, he's running on the tack plan, and now he's saying his big, bold idea is never mind. and the fact is that if you are lowering the rates the way you describe, governor, then it is not possible to come up with enough loopholes and deductions to avoid either raising the deficit or burdening the middle class. >> that was the president. the lowest moment according to the focus group in colorado. governor romney's lowest point, halfway through the debate.
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9:43 p.m. eastern, when he talked about cuts to entitlements. >> but on medicare, for current retirees, he's cutting $716 billion from the program, but not overpaying hospitals and provider, we will reduce rates you get paid across the board, everybody getting a lower rate. that's not just going after abuse, that's cutting the rates. 15% of hospitals and nursing homes won't take more medicare patients under that scenario. >> erin, what do you make of that? >> real frustration here. and i think you can all agree, when you got negative, oh, gosh, i hated this, hated that? fair description? you were frustrated when you heard romney talking about the $716 billion. >> it got to. it was the only number he threw out. i have a small business, and i
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don't have health insurance. you throw out in number that will affect me at some point, but because you have a number to give as opposed i don't have a figure to get you from, have you been working at state level, not federal. >> frustration there. and i wanted to come over quickly to carroll ward, you're a teacher, you were frustrated when barack obama was attacking mitt romney? >> yes, i was frustrated the president didn't seem to listen to romney when he was giving his plan, and he just kept sticking on that $5 trillion and the $2 trillion, and not listening is one of the biggest things that is a problem in this debate and in this election. >> one final thing, i wanted to make a point that everyone felt. how many of you felt that you wished you got more information from the candidates that they didn't fully answer the
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questions. everybody. that's something that stood out here and people were saying afterward they wanted more information from the candidates something, that stands out. a final point for all of you here. how many of you changed your mind as a result of this debate? a few people that did, and have to say overall, wolf, when you look at the winner, most people come out undecided, but five now here thought barack obama was the clear winner, and 16 thought mitt romney was the clear winner of the debate. >> ask them, i don't know if they can hear me, erin, asked them if they are now inclined to vote for mitt romney and a show of hands who is inclined to vote for the president of the united states? >> i would like to do that, but i promised i wouldn't, wolf. i didn't want to put their faces on camera associated with an actual person or vote. i can tell you, at the end of this, eight of them say they are going to be switching from before, so when it comes to the actual vote it appears even, in terms of who was a clear winner, it did sway in favor of mitt
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romney. >> thank you very much. when erin makes a promise, she delivers, no doubt about that. thank you very much. and thousands of you went to our facebook page to grade the candidates. we'll have results. may surprise you, when we come back and we'll replay the debate in its entirety. allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
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thanks to all of you who went to our facebook page to weigh in on the debate. more than 28,000 graded candidates. both got an "a," second choice for both men was an "f." >> next debate, vice